The virus has changed the way we live today drastically. If you plan to continue running your business during this new normal, you need to ensure proper hygiene. And the safety of not only yourself but your employees and customers too. So before you decide to start operating again, here’s what you have to do:
Encourage honesty and open communication in the workplace.
Honesty is the best policy. That’s how the saying goes. And it couldn’t be any more true, especially these days. You have to promote honesty and encourage open communication in your workplace. If one of your employees happens to feel sick, some may feel scared to admit it because they fear they’ll lose their job. People are desperate to keep their jobs nowadays. A lot of people are becoming unemployed and furloughed. Your job as a business owner is to let your employees know that it’s okay to get sick. And that they shouldn’t have to hide it from you.
Talk to any vulnerable employees.
As an employer, it’s your legal duty to protect your employees. People with weak immune systems, such as the elderly, are vulnerable to COVID-19. If you have any vulnerable employees, you should allow them to work from home. Let them take on jobs that don’t require being physically present. Bookkeeping, HR management, or customer service representative are some examples of remote work.
Adjust work schedules and shifts.
Guidelines have stated that there should be no more than ten people in a given space. If your workplace is tight and you can’t fit more than 10 people while being properly distanced. You will have to adjust work schedules and shifts. It’s up to you how you think the schedule should be to work more efficiently.
Ensure good ventilation.
Good ventilation is crucial in the new normal. Confined spaces with bad ventilation can increase the chances of catching the virus. Make sure your air ducts are clean and that you have vents that work. For example, if you own a restaurant, going alfresco would be a great way to reduce the risk of catching the virus.
Get rid of any pests.
It is still unsure if animals and pests can be carriers of COVID-19. But, there have been rare cases of animals catching the virus from humans. What is unknown is if they can transfer the virus to humans. Availing of pest control services in your workplace is of utmost importance. Whether or not there is COVID-19. So, before you start operating again, make sure to eliminate any pests in the workplace.
This is common sense; you should always disinfect the workplace. Before, during, and after work hours. Studies have shown that the virus can live on surfaces for days. If not disinfected, people who touch it can catch and spread the virus all over the workplace. That is why any frequently touched objects have to be disinfected.
Setup sanitation stations to be used while at work.
Aside from disinfecting surfaces in the workplace. Another way to avoid the spread of the virus is to sanitize and wash our hands often. Every workplace must have a sanitation station which the employees will use. Employees must learn to wash their hands frequently and properly. The CDC advises us to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure the virus is killed. Hand sanitizers can reduce germs, but they can’t kill the virus as well as hand washing does.
Have a no-touch thermometer at every entrance.
One of the common symptoms of COVID-19 is a high fever. Having a no-touch thermometer at every entrance can help you identify sick people. Of course, there are people with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic. But having a thermometer to check people’s temperature before entering the workplace can still help reduce the spread of the virus.
Ask employees and visitors to fill up health declaration forms upon entry.
A health declaration form is a checklist of all the symptoms of COVID-19. All your employees and visitors have to do is fill up their information and answer the forms truthfully. If any of your employees checked a box stating they are feeling any of the symptoms. You will have to talk to them and ask them to stay home.
Have a no-mask-no-entry rule.
It is clear by now that wearing masks can help avoid the spread of COVID-19. That is why you should have a strict no-mask-no-entry rule in the workplace. Any employee or visitor that is not wearing a mask shouldn’t be let into the workplace. People who do not wear masks pose a risk to not only you but to your employees and other visitors as well.
Have weekly online meetings with employees.
Having a support system during this time is crucial. We are all going through something we have never faced before. People’s mental health has been greatly affected by the pandemic. Cases of depression and anxiety have increased in the past year. What you and your employees need right now are support and care.
Not everybody has a great support system at home. So why not try to create one at work. Conduct weekly online meetings with your employees to talk about how they feel and what you can do to better our performance during the pandemic. And if there’s anything concerning them about the current situation of things. Again, promoting open communication. This will be a good way to earn your employee’s trust as well.
Find other methods to serve customers.
If you can avoid working in a physical setup, do it. Not only to protect your employees but your customers too. The majority of customers nowadays are relying on everything digital to fulfill their needs. If you can find another method to deliver your services to your customers without having them go out, do it.
These are difficult times. People can’t afford to get sick. And because of that people also have no choice to work. If you want to allow your employees to work, you have to do it safely. So if you want to run a safe and healthy business, take note of everything we’ve mentioned above.